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November 10th, 2009
10:27 AM ET

Basketball great Abdul-Jabbar has cancer

By Miriam Falco, CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the greatest college and professional basketball players of all time, says he has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

"I have chronic myeloid leukemia," Abdul-Jabbar told CNN. He said he received the diagnosis last December.

The 62-year-old former center for the Los Angeles Lakers said aside from having to see his doctor and checking his blood levels on a regular basis, having chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) hasn't significantly affected his quality of life.

Abdul-Jabbar said he's going public now to educate people about this disease.

"I think it's possible for someone in my position to help save lives," he said.

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Filed under: Health • Sports
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. thania

    my deepest prayers go out to abdul-jabbar. you are a brave soul and a hero to many. thank you for your outreach in teaching others about this disease. may god give you strength and healing, joy and peace throughout your journeys.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:39 am |
  2. e hill

    Kareem is a good man..........God Bless him!

    November 11, 2009 at 3:42 am |
  3. Teresa

    I would never have recognized this blood cancer except that I have for the last year and a half done marathons with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have friends and family with these diseases.

    Sometimes you think about resting for awhile or doing something else. But then I heard this story on the news. I was sad for a moment and then recommitted to myself to continue to walk and run to "do my part".

    God bless you, Kareem. There are about 60 of us out in the Denver area training for endurance sports events to fight these cancers and there are thousands more all over the U.S. and Canada. We're with you, buddy. You will never be alone!

    November 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  4. Aaron Grumet

    I am saddened to learn of Mr Jabbar's health problems.
    I have been a giant fan of his ever since I went to school across the street from his alma mater Power Memeorial in New York City.
    I could never quite figure out why such a great Player/Person (perhaps Person/Player is more appropriate) never got a chance to be a head coach.
    I wish only the best for him and his family.
    Aaron Grumet

    November 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  5. ddkII

    Kareem has always been my favorite player, and always will. When he was with the Bucks, they were my favorite team, and when he left and went to the Lakers they have been my team ever since. When the Celts beat the Bucks in 74, they were my first most hated team (the Pistons have taken that spot now) after that defeat of a Jabbar team. On any jersey I get, #33 is always the first choice. Ali has always been my favorite athlete, with Kareem next. You have my prayers, for you have always been and inspiration to me. Be Blessed

    November 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |